Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community Development Plan Document (DPD)

Ended on the 25 June 2023
If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.

Chapter 8: Movement and Connections

The garden community will be structured around a dense network of traffic-free walk and cycle routes with rapid public transit prioritised and supported by a range of innovative mobility measures. This will ensure day to day trips are shorter, quicker and cheaper without a car.

This chapter sets out the policy expectations in relation to Movement and Connections. The key objectives and principles for the Garden Community are to ensure neighbourhoods are walkable, low traffic and livable, where residents can access most of their daily needs within a 20-minute walk or safe bike ride from their home. The Garden Community will be designed and built in a way that reduces the need to travel, especially by car, and enables new ways of working and service delivery that supports remote working and digital solutions by making it easier for people to access services locally or by digital means.

Section 1 Local Plan

In respect of the topics covered under the theme of Movement and Connections, some of the main requirements expected to be covered in this Plan, as set out in the policies of the adopted Section 1 Local Plan, include:

  • Details of the design and delivery of the A120-A133 Link Road and the Rapid Transit System (RTS) and how they will be integrated as part of the Garden Community.
  • Delivery of the supporting transport infrastructure for the Garden Community.
  • Measures for sustainable transport provision and targets for 'modal share' – i.e. aiming to change travel behaviour to reduce car use and maximise walking, cycling and use of public transit.
  • Measures for ensuring sustainable transport measures are provided early, from the very first occupation of homes at the Garden Community.
  • The network of footpaths, cycleways and bridleways to enhance accessibility within the site and to the adjoining areas – including the University, Hythe station and Colchester City Centre.
  • Innovative strategies for the management of private car use and parking, including the promotion of car clubs and car sharing, and the provision of electric car charging points.
  • Parking facilities and design approaches that can be adapted if levels of private car ownership fall.
  • Park and ride facilities and other effective integrated measures to lessen the transport impacts of the proposed development on the strategic and local road network.
  • Measures for delivering reliable high speed/ultrafast broadband at all new and existing property.
  • Longer term transport interventions designed to minimise the impacts on the strategic and local transport network and that fully lessen any environmental or traffic impacts arising from the development.



The starting point for the design of the Garden Community will be a network of people-focused streets and traffic-free routes that ensure it is quicker to walk, cycle and scoot than use the car. The streets will be for play and enjoyment first, with traffic and deliveries carefully managed such that the streets are seen as a key setting for community life. While the Garden Community will not design out the car it will purposefully be planned for a different future where reduced private ownership and shared modes are efficient, safe and cheaper. While access will be possible to every house by car, the design of the streets will mean that cars will move slowly and be understood as guests in the streetscape. The streets will be designed such that parking spaces, car parks and car courts can be repurposed as community spaces as car ownership falls in the future.


A new Rapid Transit network will link the Garden Community to the wider area on high quality vehicles, operating at high frequencies and offering faster journey times to key destinations than by other means such as the private car. This will make Rapid Transit the first choice for trips into Colchester and beyond. The RTS will be a huge benefit for existing communities and for those travelling in to use the Park and Choose site, making the area even more attractive as a place to live, work, play and visit.


Journeys will be different. The streets will be designed for people not cars, while dedicated traffic-free links will make walking, cycling and shared transport the natural choice for most trips – whether this may be going to work, dropping the kids off at school on the way or meeting friends at the weekend. It will be more direct, quicker and cheaper to travel by active and sustainable modes and therefore there will be less need to own a car.


The Garden Community will have excellent strategic connections to Colchester, Tendring and beyond. Locally the Garden Community will be seamlessly connected with local destinations such as the University and residents will find it easy to connect to neighbours, both on- and off-site. 


Map showing a possible movement and connections framework plan for the site. This map is illustrative only. If you require this map in an alternative/accessible format, please contact tcbgardencommunity@colchester.gov.uk

*The location of specific land uses, facilities and activities are illustrative and subject to further masterplanning.

child on bike

(51)GC Policy 7. Movement and Connections

Taking forward the requirements of the Section 1 Local Plan and taking into account the views of local people and other stakeholders, this policy sets out the Councils' expectation for the Garden Community to be walkable, low traffic and livable.

Part A: Vision and Design Approach

Proposals must set out to achieve a place-based approach that contributes to achieving the decarbonisation of transport by 2050 with a focus on locating and designing development that reduces the need for people to make frequent transport trips, creating better places and healthier, happier, more resilient communities.

Proposals for the Garden Community must be designed with active travel, high frequency public transport and the RTS route at its core. This Plan, the supporting Strategic Masterplan and the supporting transport evidence base, will be the starting point for developers in submitting proposals for masterplans and the design of all neighbourhoods.

Proposals for the Garden Community will need to:

  • Prioritise movement within the site for sustainable modes making walking, cycling and public transport the mode of choice for travel around the Garden Community by providing dedicated routes where segregation from general traffic is the default. 
  • See that the design creates permeable neighbourhoods for walking, cycling and public transport, with excellent connections to key destinations within and beyond the Garden Community, taking into account opportunities for future potential connections.
  • Achieve filtered permeability for general vehicular traffic between neighbourhoods.
  • Demonstrate how modal share targets (the number of trips by walking, cycling, public transport and private vehicle) will be achieved, maximised and monitored in a phased approach as outlined in the Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community Transport Evidence Base Report 2023, and as reflected in the table below:

Modal Share (type and %) Year




Active Travel




Public Transport (including RTS)




Private Vehicles







  • Prioritise movement within the site for sustainable modes making walking, cycling and public transport the mode of choice for travel around the Garden Community by providing dedicated routes where segregation from general traffic is the default.
  • See that the design creates permeable neighbourhoods for walking, cycling and public transport, with excellent connections to key destinations within and beyond the Garden Community, taking into account opportunities for future potential connections.
  • Achieve filtered permeability for general vehicular traffic between neighbourhoods.
  • Demonstrate how modal share targets (the number of trips by walking, cycling, public transport and private vehicle) will be achieved, maximised and monitored in a phased approach as outlined in the Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community Transport Evidence Base Report 2023, and as reflected in the table below:
  • See that all active travel routes and transport infrastructure hubs are designed with ecology and green infrastructure in mind.
  • See that all walking and cycling routes are safe and accessible to all, well-lit and designed to promote natural surveillance.
  • See that the design of new streets reduces the potential for severance between communities.
  • Provide and fund improvements in local transport infrastructure where it is necessary and appropriate to do so.

Each neighbourhood will need to be accessible by active modes in accordance with walkable 20-minute neighbourhood best practice guidance.

All proposals must have regard to Active Design principles and the Building for a Healthy Life process when designing the public realm and streets and undergo a Building for a Healthy Life/Streets for a Healthy Life review.

The Garden Community street design and layout proposals must be in accordance with the approved Masterplans and detailed Design Codes, and informed by the most recent Manual for Streets document and the Essex Design Guide unless otherwise agreed with the Highway Authority.

The public realm around key destinations and trip attractors within the Garden Community such as centres, mobility hubs, early years and childcare facilities, schools and leisure facilities will be designed so that pedestrians and cyclists have clear priority at most times. Access for freight, servicing and operational vehicles will be allowed at certain times.

Proposals for the development of the Garden Community must include planning obligations to support and enable the phased delivery of transport infrastructure of a high standard of design, with the provision of key infrastructure and services for early phases of development to ensure sustainable travel patterns from first occupation. The required level of planning obligations will need to be agreed with the Highways Authority and the Councils in advance of any planning application determination.

Part B: Active and Healthy Travel

Proposals must ensure the Garden Community is planned around a network of safe and accessible walking and cycling routes where dedicated traffic free routes will make walking and cycling the best choice for day-to-day trips, encouraging sustainable travel, and supporting healthy and active lifestyles.

The streets and public realm will need to be designed in accordance with the Strategic Masterplan, creating attractive and safe spaces around a modal or user hierarchy with pedestrians at the top of the hierarchy and considered first. This requirement will be a fundamental prerequisite for all development proposals in formulating and creating neighbourhood masterplans and design codes.

Proposals must demonstrate how the development contributes to the ease and prioritisation of active travel through all parts of the site. This will include:

  • How the design and layout results in an attractive network of high quality walking and cycling routes that are accessible, logical, convenient, safe, and secure with most homes within 400m of a traffic-free route.
  • How walking and cycling infrastructure has been designed to ensure that it is accessible and inclusive, ensuring that people of all abilities can safely walk and cycle.
  • How any cycling infrastructure is designed having regard to Local Transport Note (LTN) 1/20 or subsequent updated guidance.
  • How the design and layout is accessible, illustrating where safe, direct connections are being made both within the Garden Community, and how they link with the wider network of pedestrian and cycle routes and to key external destinations (such as the University, Colchester City centre, railway stations and existing local communities) and transport interchanges.
  • How connections are being made to the existing Public Rights of Way (PRoW) and green-blue infrastructure network, and how existing routes within the site will be retained, preserved, and enhanced, where relevant.
  • How the design of the street and public realm limits and manages vehicle speeds and street parking.
  • How walking and cycling routes are designed as green corridors incorporating street trees, linear SuDS features, wildlife verges and other features as appropriate.

Specific pedestrian and cycle routes will connect with the Garden Community with effective wayfinding and signage. Contributions to improvements of some or all of those links will be sought from (but not limited to) the list below, which will be subject to the outcomes of transport assessment work.

  • Direct links to Knowledge Gateway/University of Essex;
  • Enhanced connectivity to Colchester City centre including improvements to shared routes between Hythe Station and central Colchester and improvements to Elmstead Road/ Greenstead Road;
  • Cycle links to St Johns Road and Ipswich Road;
  • Links to existing and planned routes such as those in the Colchester Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan;
  • Colchester Orbital enhancements to settings, surfacing and way-marking where appropriate, and links to and from it;
  • Direct connectivity between any Park and Choose site and the pedestrian and cycle network to facilitate high quality links to the above-mentioned destinations, as well as key destinations within the Garden Community;
  • Creation of links to Garden Community green spaces, as well as existing local provisions;
  • Links to existing communities such as Elmstead Market, Ardleigh and Wivenhoe.

Proposals must ensure that all new schools within the Garden Community will be designed and built, having regard to the latest School Streets Guidance in the Essex Design Guide with vehicular traffic access restricted around the vicinity of the main school entrances. The area around the main pupil entrance must be entirely traffic free and connected by safe and direct walking and cycling routes to the neighbourhood/s the school serves.

Part C: Public Transport

Proposals must demonstrate how the development contributes to:

  • Ensuring public transport is a convenient way of moving within the Garden Community and to access destinations further afield, such as Colchester City centre.
  • Safeguarding any segregated public transport routes and the development of the RTS alignment through the Garden Community.
  • The provision of high-quality mobility hubs and transit stops as part of the development proposal, ensuring that all residential dwellings and employment sites will be within 400 metres of a bus stop or RTS halt.
  • Quality pedestrian and cycle routes linking to the RTS halts from each of the centres.
  • Ensuring that there is a convenient and high frequency bus service operating that is aligned with the first phase of the Garden Community which will need to be appropriately funded by the developer.

Where there are on-street bus routes away from the RTS corridor, proposals will need to consider how buses will be given priority over general traffic through traffic management measures such as bus gates, bus lanes and bus only roads, as agreed with the Highway Authority.

Roads and streets within the development, where bus routes are planned, must be designed and built to accommodate the efficient and smooth running of buses where parking or loading will not result in delays to services.

Provision and specification of bus stops/RTS halts along the key bus routes/RTS corridor must have regard to the Strategic and Neighbourhood Masterplans, which will be informed by Essex County Council bus stop and RTS halts guidance and the Essex Design Guide. Additionally, stops should include consideration for the provision of secure storage of active travel modes (i.e. cycle/scooter parking).

Part D: Rapid Transit System (RTS)

The Rapid Transit corridor will be constructed on a safeguarded alignment through the core of the Garden Community with the majority of the route dedicated to RTS buses/vehicles, cyclist and pedestrians, with no general vehicular access. All proposals will need to integrate with the RTS and demonstrate how the RTS can provide a direct link to each Neighbourhood Centre.

Proposals should ensure the RTS will be, and will remain highly visible, serving residents of the Garden Community and beyond, and will be served by high quality stops/halts situated to maximise accessibility (including parking provisions for safe/secure/covered storage of cycles/scooters). The halts should be an important component of centres and land/space needs to be identified and safeguarded for these stops and associated interchange and mobility hubs within development proposals.

In addressing the wider infrastructure requirements, proposals will need to demonstrate and ensure that the construction of the RTS and associated infrastructure can be delivered up front and aligns with the build out of the Garden Community. It should be ready for operation during the first phase of the development to influence sustainable travel behaviour and embed the use of the system and align with the Essex RTS operational model including the phased delivery plan for services.

Flexibility should be provided within design to assist and/or provide a means of powering the RTS vehicles onsite. The Highway Authority and Transportation Authority will work with operators to confirm future fleet requirements as part of the operation model.

Part E: Taxis – Electric Vehicle charging ranks

Any taxi ranks located at sites such as the Neighbourhood Centres or Park and Choose sites must have access to rapid electric vehicle charging points or similar technology installed adjacent to the rank.

Part F: Park and Choose

All proposals must plan for and integrate with the Park and Choose facility, which will need to be provided on the site and will service and support the RTS, by providing:

  • High quality storage and provisions for the 'choose' modes of travel (both hire and privately owned).
  • Car parking provision (i.e. traditional Park and Ride facility) where the number of spaces will be agreed with the Highway Authority.
  • Appropriate facilities for patrons, site staff and public transport vehicle drivers.
  • Appropriate power supply to provide electric power charging for cars, RTS vehicles, delivery vehicles and other modes (e-bikes, e-scooters, etc).
  • Space for RTS vehicle parking for reserve vehicles, cleaning and inspections.
  • Space to act as a transportation interchange hub for other bus services to support and reduce traffic movements within the wider Garden Community (i.e. school 'park and stride' drop off provisions.
  • Space to provide a delivery hub drop off area to facilitate an e-cargo bike last mile delivery service for the Garden Community and university.

The Park and Choose facility will comply with the requirements set out in Policy 1, Part J.

Part G: Parking

Vehicle Parking

Proposals must ensure that vehicle parking complies with the Garden Community parking guidance or design code and all new development will be required to take account of any emerging or existing standards and the design requirements set out within these standards.

Proposals must be accompanied by a parking strategy that demonstrates how the development contributes to the following principles of parking for the Garden Community:

  • How parking contributes to, and is integrated with, placemaking and is accommodated in a variety of ways that facilitate and prioritise walkable neighbourhoods, high quality public realm and active travel, and aligns with mode split targets.
  • How the scale, location, amount, and type of parking is considered as a whole across the Garden Community with the intentionof delivering the overall mode share targets, and how parking provision is related to public transport accessibility. 
  • How car free and car limited development will correspond to the density of development.
  • How a zonal approach to parking provision has been considered across the development dependent upon accessibility of the location to public transport services, local amenities and services, as well as the density of housing and connectivity, to commercial and employment land uses.
  • How the design, location and amount of parking ensures that there is no resulting overspill and inappropriate on-street parking which negatively impacts on:
    1. quality of public realm/sense of place
    2. pedestrian and cyclist movement
    3. road safety
    4. emergency access
    5. disabled access
    6. delays and journey time impacts for buses and RTS
    7. deliveries, servicing, and waste management access requirements
    8. congestion and delays to general traffic
    9. crime and personal security, and
    10. overall public transport accessibility.
  • How the development achieves a balance between allocated and unallocated parking spaces with a set percentage of this being in remote (off plot) locations dependent upon the density of the neighbourhood.
  • How the design of parking spaces, car parks and parking courts is designed so that they can be repurposed as community spaces, should car use fall in the future.
  • How the provision of parking for people with disabilities and with mobility impairments ensures there is equitable access to all residential dwellings and other land uses across the Garden Community.
  • How safe and secure parking for powered two-wheeler vehicles is provided across the Garden Community where appropriate and reasonable.

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Standards

Provision for electric charging points should be provided for all proposed car parking spaces, associated within residential development proposals as set out in the latest government guidance and standards. Provision for parking at non-residential and commercial land uses will be in accordance with latest government guidance and standards. The Councils may consider alternative solutions where a proportion of parking is located off-plot.

Where passive charging (the network of cables and power supply necessary so that at a future date a socket can be added easily) provision is proposed, this will require the installation of all necessary infrastructure such as cabling, power grid capacity and supply to allow for the simple and efficient retrofit of a parking spaces anywhere in the development with additional electric vehicle charging points.

Cycle Parking

Cycle parking must be provided at new homes, short stay destinations (such as shops and cafes), and long-stay destinations (such as work and education and transport interchanges and mobility hubs). Dedicated covered and secure cycle storage should be located in prominent and accessible locations as part of the design of new homes. Cycle parking at destinations should be easily accessible, prominent, safe, conveniently located, covered and secure.

All proposals must demonstrate:

  • The location, amount and type of cycle parking including security measures, form of shelter and access.
  • How provision for cycle parking has taken account of all types of cycles and cycle users.
  • How cycle parking has been designed to ensure it is clearly marked, overlooked, well-lit and integrated into the built environment.
  • How plot and off-plot cycle parking is designed and delivered having regard to LTN1/20, any Garden Community cycle parking design guidance or the latest best practice guidance document.
  • How places of employment are provided with suitable and separate shower facilities, clothes drying facilities and lockers for employees that intend to cycle to work.

Part H: Travel Demand Management

All proposals must ensure that the supporting infrastructure is identified to ensure that active and sustainable modes are the most attractive and convenient modes of travel within, and to and from the Garden Community. This must be evidenced and supported by Travel Demand Management measures set out in a Travel Plan supporting the proposals to be agreed with the Highway Authority and the Councils.

H1. Freight, Home Deliveries and Servicing

Proposals must include a Freight Management Strategy for approval which has regard to the adoption and implementation of the following methods to manage urban logistics:

  • Neighbourhood delivery and servicing hubs.
  • Micro-consolidation centres.
  • E-cargo bike delivery schemes for last mile' deliveries for business and residential areas.
  • Promotion of cargo-bikes to residents.
  • Freight and Servicing Plans for high trip generating sites.
H.2 Travel Plans

In developing travel plans for proposals within the Garden Community, such plans will be required to take account of the necessary processes, measures and monitoring requirements set out within the Shared Section 1 Local Plan, this Plan, supporting Strategic Masterplan and the transport evidence base for the Garden Community as well as all other relevant local and national policies and guidance.

All Travel Plans will identify the sustainable transport interventions, behaviour changes and travel planning mechanisms required to see that the development reduces carbon emissions associated with transport and achieves modal split targets.

Proposals must include the appointment of a Travel Plan Co- ordinator. For employment proposals, the Travel Plan Co-Ordinator will be expected to provide assistance with business travel planning. Suitable digital travel information should be made available to all residents and occupiers across the site and keep up to date details of all active and sustainable travel information.

H3: Car Club and other shared transport hire

Proposals will be expected to contribute towards the start-up and operation of a:

  • Car club across the Garden Community. This will include financial contribution through planning obligations where relevant to support the scheme for a fixed period and provision of car club spaces where required. All car club bays must have dedicated electric vehicle charging facilities.
  • A bike/e-bike/e-scooter (micro-mobility) hire scheme in the Garden Community. This will include financial contribution through planning obligations where relevant to support the scheme for a fixed period and provision of docking stations where required.
H4: Mobility and Micro-mobility Hubs

All proposals for the Garden Community will need to ensure that mobility hubs are located at centres, public transport interchange locations and Park and Choose sites across the Garden Community ensuring there is a comprehensive hub and spoke network of sites across the development.

ECC will produce a guide for the development of mobility hubs. This guide will identify where Mobility hubs will need to be located. Hub locations will need to be identified early in the site design process with the objective of maximising accessibility and utility. It is expected that hubs will play a key role in sustainable transport measures as identified in the Travel Plan.

Part I: A120-A133 Link Road Connectivity

The Garden Community will be designed to integrate with the A120-A133 Link Road, particularly measures outlined in the approved planning application which maintain and promote walking, cycling and horse-riding connectivity throughout the site, including the shared footway/cycleway that will be provide along the western side of the road. In order to achieve filtered permeability:

  • The Garden Community must restrict vehicular connectivity, except for public transport and emergency vehicles, between the 'Link Road' and Bromley Road.
  • The Garden Community must restrict vehicular connectivity between individual junctions of the 'Link Road', except for public transport and emergency vehicles, apart from the 'Link Road' itself.

Part J: Monitoring, Management and Delivery

The modal share targets will be actively monitored throughout the phasing of the development and upon full occupation via the Garden Community Travel Plan. This Travel Plan document/s will be developed in accordance with the latest best practice guidance and the transport evidence supporting this Plan. Both internal and external modal splits will be measured and monitored, and robust management and oversight will be activated to ensure the targets are met. The timing and scope of sustainable transport measures will be designed to achieve the modal share targets at different stages of the development build out.

The location, method, equipment, and reporting mechanisms used to undertake the monitoring will be agreed and approved by the Councils and the Highway Authority.

Permission for latter phases of development may not be given if modal split targets for early phases are not being met.

Part K: Planning Application Requirements

Any planning permission granted for the development of the Garden Community will include planning obligations enabling the phased delivery of transport infrastructure. Some of these have been detailed above. Notably, any planning permission granted for the development of the Garden Community will include a planning obligation enabling the phased delivery of transport infrastructure of a high standard of design, with the provision of key infrastructure for early phases of development to ensure sustainable travel patterns from first occupation in line with modal share targets agreed by the Councils and set out in the Transport Assessment provided by applicants.

The following must be prepared and approved in writing by the Councils prior to determining any planning application for development of the site:

  1. A Transport Assessment demonstrating how the development will encourage active and sustainable transport and achieve the mode share targets. Measures to mitigate traffic impacts should be incorporated into the proposed development. The Transport Assessment should have regard to the principles of 'Vision and Validate' showing how the vision for sustainable transport at the site will be achieved and must include a carbon assessment of transport related impacts of the development including the construction phase of the development. The Transport Assessment must include a Construction Logistics and Traffic Management Strategy that has regard to the latest best practice guidance and a copy of the results of the Healthy Streets for Life Assessment.
  2. A Public Transport Strategy detailing all aspects of how public transport will be designed, delivered, funded, and operated within the Garden Community for a period of at least 20 years. This document will cover all elements of bus and public transport services including such things as vehicle specifications, route timetables, service frequencies as well as all associated infrastructure such as bus stops, bus priority and RTS interventions. This document will be submitted for agreement with the Highway and Transport Authority for the area at the time of the planning application submission and will be based on the Operational Model developed by ECC. 
  3. A Parking Strategy and Management Plan in accordance with the Parking Guidance published by the Councils setting out how parking within the development will be allocated, managed, monitored and enforced over the lifetime of the development. It will detail the criteria for introducing parking restrictions and controls as well as charging for parking if there is a need to manage inconsiderate parking or excessive demand or to meet the mode share targets.
  4. A Freight Management Strategy setting out how freight, homes deliveries and servicing will be managed and mitigated within the development.
  5. A Travel Plan linked to phasing of the development, and updated accordingly, to cover the following details:
    1. The active travel measures available and how these will be promoted to residents, employees and/or visitors to the Garden Community.
    2. Public transport available including offers and discounts on public transport and how these will be promoted to residents, employees and/or visitors to the Garden Community.
    3. A micro-mobility management action plan setting out ongoing operation, maintenance and management of the bike/e-bike/ e-scooter hire scheme across the development. The scheme will need to be integrated with and compliment any current or future scheme within the existing Colchester urban area.
    4. The Garden Community car club, car sharing and other sustainable travel schemes and how this will be promoted to residents, employees and/or visitors to the Garden Community.
    5. An Action Plan that contains specific actions with timescales.
    6. Commitment to ongoing data collection including details of how they will be funded on an ongoing basis and how the data will be reported.
    7. Targets which are monitored and submitted for approval and review by the Councils annually from the outset; and of the operation of a Transport Review Group (TRG) including terms of reference.
  6. A Mobility Hubs Strategy outlining the location of the mobility hubs and the mobility services and facilities provided at each hub in line with ECC guidance. It will also include information on how the hubs will be managed, maintained, and operated throughout the lifetime of the development.


The design of the Garden Community and its neighbourhoods will have a significant impact on the travel choices residents will make both within the community and beyond. The national and local transport policy framework focuses on achieving a high share of trips using sustainable and active modes. The developer(s) of the site must demonstrate how this can be achieved.

Following the publication of the UK Net Zero Carbon Strategy and Transport Decarbonisation Plan the Garden Community will need to ensure it contributes to meeting the UK targets.1 Transport is the largest contributor to the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. While emissions from other sectors have fallen dramatically since 1990, those from transport have reduced by under 3%. In an average local authority, transport is responsible for 35.5% of all emissions, with the sector remaining 98% reliant on fossil fuels. For this reason, the carbon emission implications from transport associated with the Garden Community must be considered and will influence the design of the development and the transport policies in this Plan and any masterplan and design code.

Current and developing national, regional, county and borough/district transport policies are aligning on three key principles to determine the best tools for achieving net zero carbon transport and successful places, they are:

  • Reduce the need to travel.
  • Shift to active modes.
  • Decarbonise residual travel/switch to zero emission fuels.

The design and planning of the Garden Community and the neighbourhoods within it will ensure that there is a diversity of communities within reasonable walking distance of local facilities, services, employment, and fresh food. The result is that the internalisation of trips by active modes is maximised and the need to make external trips outside the neighbourhood is reduced.

The core principles of the walkable 20-minute neighbourhood are:

  • Every neighbourhood has access to essential services and retail – with emphasis on fresh food and healthcare – within a 20-minute walk or cycle.
  • Every neighbourhood has varied housing types, levels of affordability, and availability such that people can live nearby where they work.
  • Retail, offices, co-working spaces and hospitality are spread throughout areas, people can work close to home and/or work from home.
  • High environmental quality, availability of green spaces and clean air.

The Garden Community neighbourhoods and streets must be designed to ensure that pedestrian and cycle movements are prioritised through a network of attractive, low speed, low-traffic walkable neighbourhoods in which through access for the majority of vehicles is minimised and designed out. This will ensure that it is quicker and more convenient to travel between two points in the community by active modes, rather than by car.

Proposals must be designed around the needs of people walking and cycling to facilitate safe and direct active travel journeys. Routes should be designed in line with walkable 20-minute neighbourhood, Gear Change, Active Design and Building for a Healthy Life (Streets for a Healthy Life)1 principles, so that they are:

  • Coherent (legible and clearly signposted).
  • Direct.
  • Safe (appropriately lit; good sightlines; overlooked).
  • Convenient.
  • Accessible.

It is important that cycling infrastructure can accommodate the full range of cycles available to ensure routes are accessible to all cyclists (i.e. trikes and cargo bikes), and designed and built in accordance with LTN1/20 (or subsequent updated guidance documentation). Cycle routes should have a minimum width of 2m or 3m for two-way tracks. Where a route is also used by pedestrians, separate facilities should be provided for pedestrian and cycle movements.

A Rapid Transit System (RTS) will be in place to connect the Garden Community with the University of Essex, Colchester City Centre, Colchester Railway Stations, Colchester Hospital, Community Stadium, Colchester Sports Park and the existing Park and Ride site in north Colchester. This will provide a high frequency, efficient public transport system with priority over general traffic within the Garden Community. The route, which will run alongside the A133 Clingoe Hill via the Knowledge Gateway, will link into the Garden Community.

A Colchester Rapid Transit bus

A key feature of the RTS is the incorporation of Park and Choose facilities (P&C), provision of which is included in plans for the Garden Community. The P&C will be developed as part of, and support, the delivery of the RTS. P&C extends the concept of park and ride to include choice of transport mode and works as a central hub for other modes. Principally this will be cycle or electric cycle hire but in time could be extended to include electric scooters, e-cargo and the like. It can also provide space for drivers to store their own bicycles. Providing choice could appeal particularly to nearby potential users travelling to the University of Essex, but also to those travelling to destinations in Colchester further away from RTS halts and interchanges.

The P&C should include space for a RTS operations room with a view to creating a central hub from which automated vehicles can be managed. The P&C will also provide ticketing and service information (including high- quality broadband network connection). Given RTS vehicles are expected to be electric, although alternative fuels such as hydrogen cells could be considered, space for charging or refueling of vehicles should be included. It would be expected that significant repairs to vehicles would be carried out elsewhere. However, space for RTS vehicle parking for reserve vehicles, cleaning and inspections, and parking whilst drivers are on breaks and change overs should be included. The design of the site (and wider TCBGC RTS network) should also reflect the use of this type/length of vehicle.

The Garden Community will be designed to maximise active and sustainable modes of travel for journeys within, to and from the Garden Community. The Councils have defined ambitious mode share targets set out in the Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community Transport Evidence Base Report 2023, which will be the starting point for all discussions with the developer. The Councils will apply targets for different modes, locations and phases of the Garden Community and these will be agreed as the proposals develop. Garden Community Travel Plans will need to show how mode share targets will be achieved and maximised, with such plans subject to regular monitoring and review. Successfully achieving these outcomes is based on prioritising the funding of infrastructure that is to be delivered by 2033 for those items that will have the greatest impacts on travel behaviour and delivered before future residents establish travel habits, on the basis that travel behaviour patterns are harder to change once engrained.

To support proposals that make walking, cycling and public transport the most attractive method of travel, the Garden Community will be designed around the principles of the 20-minute neighbourhood and as a place where the car does not dominate. The parking strategy for the development will play a key role in determining overall car usage, and adequate parking provision in all instances will be required. Cycle parking is integral to the cycle network and to the wider public transport systems. The availability of secure cycle parking at home, the end of the trip or at an interchange point has a significant influence on cycle use.

Vehicle trips and traffic generated by deliveries, freight and servicing are likely to be a significant proportion of overall movements in the Garden Community. These types of movements have increased over the past decade and continued to increase in the period since the Covid pandemic due to higher volumes of online shopping. These journey types are difficult to switch to active and sustainable modes but will need to be managed creatively through neighbourhood delivery and servicing hubs and other measures detailed in a freight and servicing plan.

Travel Planning is a key tool in helping to manage transport impacts and help achieve carbon reduction objectives. Moving to a new home is recognised as being a key life event and there is evidence to show that with the right behaviour change interventions at this time can be an ideal trigger to get that individual to consider their carbon emissions and rethink the way they travel and live.

The mobility hubs will be complemented by smaller scale micro-mobility hubs located at focal points in residential neighbourhoods and employment areas. This will allow for smooth and efficient interchange between public transport, shared transport services and micro-mobility modes such as e-scooters, cycles and e-bikes. All residential dwellings and employment sites should be within 400 metres of a micro-mobility hub.

The provision of a car club could encourage residents not to see the purchase of a car (or a second car) as a necessity and use a car club car for trips that may be more difficult using public transport. All car club bays must have dedicated electric vehicle charging facilities. The car club should be used to reduce parking levels and facilitate car-free homes in certain locations.

The A120-A133 Link Road received planning permission in 2021 and is scheduled to open in 2026. Its objective is to support growth at the Garden Community, manage congestion in this wider locality and improve connectivity. It will comprise a new 2.4km road between the existing A120 and A133 in the east of Colchester; a new grade separated junction at the A120; and a new roundabout at the junction with the A133, to join into the existing highway network. Two intermediate roundabouts will also be provided along the Link Road for the Garden Community. Walking, cycling and horse-riding provisions associated with the Link Road have been designed to provide new networks, permeability, and connections across the Link Road for existing and future land users, linked to existing or diverted Public Rights of Way.

To reduce the need to travel the Garden Community will provide excellent digital connectivity and a policy is included in the Sustainable Infrastructure chapter.

A governance body, the TRG, will be established by the Councils. The TRG will have formal terms of reference and comprise the planning/highway authorities and the developer. The TRG will be provide oversight for the development, implementation and review of the Garden Community's overall transport strategy, particularly the commitment to maximise active and sustainable travel, deliver mode share targets and the measures outlined in travel plans.

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
back to top back to top